First, Last, and Significant Events  

Note: The following history and stories came from several organizations and individuals.  c141heaven, 437th Airlift Wing History Office, 97th Air Mobility Wing History Office, The McChord Air Museum Foundation, Travis AFB Aviation Museum, Military Airlift Command Office of History,  The Air Mobility Command Museum, Air Mobility Command Office of History, Lt Col Gary Baker, MAC DOV, MSgt Larry Giles, CMSgt Wim Wetzel, Maj Doug Cain, - - - credit list is in-progress.

C-141 Aircraft First Flight

17 December 1963: C-141, Serial number 61-2775, was the very first of 284 C-141A Starlifters ever built and had its maiden flight on 17 December 1963, the 60th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight.

 This C-141A Starlifter spent its entire career as a test aircraft in numerous programs. 

Also, this aircraft was the only known four-engine jet used to tow a glider. 

The last program this C-141A model carried out was to test a new tension rope from NASA while towing a QF-106 in the air; the program was referred to as the Eclipse Project. The Loadmaster on this flight was MSgt Ken Drucker.

 First MATS Pilot to Fly The C-141 Starlifter

Lt Col (Brig. Gen.) Willum H. "Harry" Spillers, Jr., was the operations and engineering officer for the C-141 Category II Joint Test Force at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and was the first Military Air Transport Service (MATS) pilot to fly the C-141.

C-141 Starlifters First Operational Squadron

19 October 1964: The 1741st Air Transport Squadron assigned to the 1707th Air Transport Wing (ATW) at Tinker Air Force Base (AFB), Oklahoma, was the first squadron to fly the C-141 aircraft. Note: In January 1966, the 1741st was redesignated 57th Military Airlift Squadron. 


The first C-141 to arrive at Tinker AFB was tail number 63-8078 and would be known as "Spirit of Oklahoma City."

After the C-141 Starlifter's arrival and acceptance ceremony at Tinker AFB, OK, a crew headed up by Capt Ronald D. Holly from the 1741st ATS made the first take-off in the C-141 Starlifter.  

First Student to Graduate From C-141 TTU 

Dec. 29, 1964: Capt David W. Coville, a C-135 pilot from the 40th ATS, was the first to complete the pilot C-141 formal training course in the 1741st ATS at Tinker, AFB, OK. Capt Coville would remain at Tinker in the 1741st and train other pilots on the C-141 Starlifte.

C-141 First-Round Trip to Hawaii

6 February 1965: Lt Col Ralph I. Leslie and his Air Force Flight Test Center C-141 Joint Test Force crew returned to Edwards AFB CA after a 5,200-mile non-stop, round-trip flight to Honolulu, Hawaii.

 C-141's First Line Operational Unit of Assignment

23 April 1965: The first Lockheed C–141 Starlifter for a line operational unit was delivered to Travis Air Force Base, California, home of the 1501st Air Transport Wing. The 44th Air Transport Squadron (ATS), a unit of the 1501st Air Transport Wing, Travis Air Force Base, California, was the first line squadron to fly the C-141. 

On 23 April 1965, The 44th ATS flew the C-141A (tail number 63-8088 named “Golden Bear”) from the Lockheed factory in GA to Travis Air Force Base, CA. The first crew from the 44th to fly the C-141 was as follows: Lt Col Weldon D. Newquist, AC; Lt Col Vere Short, CP; Capt James M. Davis, Nav; CMSgt Daniel M. Lawson, FE; CMSgt William J. Malone, FE; MSgt Thomas P. O’Keefe, LM; TSgt Vernon N. Smith, LM. Gen. Howell M. Estes Jr., MATS Commander, was also part of the flight crew. 

May 25 to 31, 1965: The 44th flying C-141A, tail number 63-8088,  crossed the Pacific Ocean when it flew from Travis to Yokota Air Base, Japan, in nine hours and twenty minutes.  Aircraft 63-8088 was chosen along with five other C-141s to perform an unusually heavy flying and landing schedule between June 1, 1965, and November 1, 1968.

 Also, the 44th ATS was the first West Coast operational squadron to fly C-141s solely.

16 Sept 2005: Travis AFB placed the restored C-141A/B Starlifter (tail number 63-8088), nicknamed the Golden Bear, on permanent static display. It was the USAF’s first operational C-141A, the first to carry wounded troops from Vietnam to the US, the first to fly into Saigon. In 1973, it helped fly the 566 military and 25 civilian former prisoners of war from North Vietnam to the US.

 C-141 First Assigned to Charleston AFB, SC

 14 August 1965: C-141A StarLifter "The City of Charleston" 64-0624 was the first C-141 assigned to the 437th Military Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base. Charleston was the third MATs base to receive the C-141. The 3rd Air Transport Squadron would fly the aircraft.

 C-141 First Assigned to Dover AFB, DE  

2 June 1966: First C-141 Starlifter to arrive at Dover Air Force Base was 64-0626. The aircraft was retired at Dover AFB, DE, in Feb 1996 and became part of the Air Mobility Command Museum.

C-141 First Assigned to McChord AFB, WA

August 9, 1966: A new era began for McChord AFB when the first Lockheed C-141A Starlifter 65-0277 arrived at the base and entered service with the 62d Military Airlift Wing’s 4th Military Airlift Squadron. 

C-141 First Assigned to Robins AFB, GA

January 8, 1967: The 58th Military Airlift Squadron received its first C-141 Starlifter, and fittingly, its first C-141 was named “The Georga Peach.” Although located at Robins AFB, GA, the squadron was assigned to the 436th MAW at Dover AFB, DE.

C-141 First Assigned to Norton AFB, CA

1 Apr 1967:  HQ Military Airlift Command (MAC) officially transferred the 63rd MAW from Robins AFB, GA, to its new home at Norton AFB, CA. This move also marked the wing's transition from the C-124 to the new C-141 "Starlifter" aircraft. Less than a week after arriving at Norton AFB, the first C-141 took off on its initial cargo airlift mission to Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, the wing flew around-the-clock missions supporting the US and allied forces engaged in Southeast Asia.  Col. Gary Underwood was the last commander of the C-141 wing at Norton AFB. 

Norton AFB & 63rd MAW/AW was the home of the famous C-141 tail number 66-0177. This aircraft was the very first American aircraft to land at Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi, North Vietnam, on Feb. 12, 1973, to pick up prisoners of war. Because of that singular honor, the aircraft was dubbed the 'Hanoi Taxi.' 

C-141 First Assigned to McGuire AFB, NJ

Aug. 8, 1967:  The first C-141A (66-7947) for McGuire Air Force Base was Nicknamed "Garden State Airlifter."   The aircraft is now on static display at McGuire AFB

 C-141 First Landing in The Antarctic

14 November 1967: The first C-141 aircraft to land in the Antarctic was 65-0229. Assigned to the 60th MAW at Travis, operated by the 86th MAS, and Aircraft Commander was Capt. Howard Geddes. The aircraft landed on the ice at McMurdo Sound after a 2,200-mile flight from Christchurch, New Zealand.

C-141 Sets Trans-Pacific Speed Record

17 January 1967: A C-141 from the 44th Military Airlift Squadron at Travis AFB CA claimed a trans-Pacific speed record from Japan to the U. S. on a run of 8 hours and 17 minutes, covering a total of 5,400 miles, with speeds averaging 630 miles per hour.

C-141 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Missions 

May 1968: The Reserve's 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flew C-141 aeromedical missions in May 1968 when it was recalled to active duty to support combat forces in Vietnam. During the unit's 179-day activation, squadron reservists flew medical evacuation routes from Vietnam to the United States, participating in about 1,262 combat missions in Southeast Asia and 948 evacuation missions from Japan to the United States.

 Military Airlift Command and the Air Force Reserve evacuated more than 400,000 patients, including 168,000 battle casualties between 1965 and 1973, with a perfect flying record. 

 C-141's First Authorized Three Engine Takeoff 

22 August 1968: First C-141 three Engine T/O, at Danang AB, RVN (additional information will be found on the Ground and in-flight emergencies tab)

C-141 Formal School Relocated From Tinker to Altus

18 April 1969: The first seven (of 19) C-141As arrived at Altus from Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, as part of MAC's movement of the 443d Military Airlift Wing and 57th Airlift Squadron. 

C-141 Transports Moon Walkers

22 July 1969: An aircrew from the 14th MAS flew to Hickam AFB, HI, and transported the crew of the history-making Apollo 11 flight (the first men to walk on the moon) in the Mobile Quarantine Facility to Ellington AFB, TX.

C-141 Pilot Col Vere Short

29 July 1970: Col Vere Short, a C-141 pilot, attained 25,000 accident-free flying hours, the most military flying time by anyone on active duty.

First C-141 Crew to Land in China

1 February 1972: A 62nd MAW crew flying C-141A 66-0141 was the first American military aircraft to land in the People’s Republic of China. The McChord C-141s were flying missions in support of President Nixon's historic trip to communist China. 

C-141 66-0177 Repatriates POWs 

12 February 1973: C-141, 66-0177, the "Hanoi Taxi," airlifts the first American prisoners of war to freedom from Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi, North Vietnam.

Yom Kippur War, and Need for C-141 Area-Refueling Capability

Oct. 1973, C-141 StarLifter crews flew 421 missions and delivered more than 10,000 tons of equipment and supplies to Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This war support to Israel would help justify the need for C-141 aera-refueling capability, which would give the aircraft a world range. During this conflict, countries that did not support this war would not grant permission for USAF aircraft to land and refuel.

C-141 and Operation New Life

27 April 1975: The first C-141 load of refugees from Viet Nam arrived at Norton AFB. 

 The YC-141B Aircraft 66-0186

December 1975: The 437th MAW ferried one of its C-141A Starlifters, tail number 66-0186, to Warner Robins, Georgia, for Project Pacer Plug. This project stretched the C-141 23 feet (13 forward and ten aft of the wings) and modified its fuel system, which increased its payload capacity without drastic power plant changes and increased its range with in-flight refueling.

8 January 1977: The first C-141B, 66-0186 (designated YC-141B), rolled out of the Lockheed Georgia Marietta plant. The aircraft was sent to Edwards AFB for approximately two years of extensive testing of the new aero refueling capabilities. Loadmasters for this testing program were MSgt Wim Wetzel and MSgt Al Capone.

 First C-141 Female Crewmembers

September 1977:  Two of the first ten women pilots in the Air Force began advanced pilot training in the C-141 aircraft. The first female pilot to graduate was 2nd Lt. Kathleen A. Rambo. The other pilot in the program was Capt. Kathy LeSauce. On Dec 9th, 1977, the first woman to complete the C-141 Pilot Initial Qualification course in the 57th Military Airlift Squadron was 2nd Lt. Kathleen A. Rambo, and her follow-on assignment was with the 732nd Airlift Squadron at McGuire AFB, NJ.

 14 November 1977: Capt. Betty Jo Payne would become the first female Navigator to complete initial qualification training on the C-141. 

SSgt Laurie Bailey was the first C-141 female Flight Engineer to graduate at Altus. After completion of training, SSgt Baily was assigned to the 41st Military Airlift Squadron at Charleston AFB, SC.

 November 1977: SSgt Anne Wright was the first C-141 Loadmaster to graduate at Altus and had a follow-on assignment to McGuire AFB with the 6th Military Airlift Squadron. 

First C-141 Over Water Flight Without Navigator

30 September 1977: A C-141 Starlifter from Charleston AFB flies across the Atlantic without a navigator being guided instead by a Delco Inertial Guidance System. This new technology leads to navigators being phased out of the C-141 system. 

Crew members from the 41st MAS were; AC Capt John Motley, Copilot Lt Doug Cain, FE George Stewart, FE Jerry Kovaleski, LM unknown.

First C-141B Arrives at Altus Air Force Base, OK. 

21 December 1979: The first delivered C-141B to the Military Airlift Command (MAC) was 66-0176. On 4 Dec 1979, 66-0176 was flown to Charleston AFB from the Lockheed plant in Marietta, Georgia.  A Lockheed pilot was in the left seat, and the commander of MAC, General Robert E. Huyser, was in the right seat. Also, on this first flight of the C-141B was Major General Brown from the 22nd Air Force and 21st Air Force Commander Major General Tom Sadler.


57th MAS crew members on this flight were ACM Pilots Lt. Col. Burt Emmett & Maj. Jerry McKimmey. Primary crew flight engineers were Senior Master Sergeant Paul Zender & Master Sergeant Billy Black, and MSgt Larry Giles was the loadmaster.


The aircraft (66-0176 would remain at Charleston for approximately two weeks of operational test and evaluation (OT&E).  It left Charleston on 21 December 1979 for delivery to the 443 MAW and 57th MAS at Altus.

 Source credit: 437th Airlift Wing History Office 

C-141B Arrives at Charleston Air Force Base, SC

March 1980: The 437th MAW receives its first new C-141B, tail number 65-0218.

 First Female Pilot in Air Force to Command a C-141

8 January 1980: Capt. Kathy LaSauce-Arlington became the first female C-141 Aircraft Commander when she received her certification from the 63rd MAW's Review and Certification Board.

First C–141B Operational Refueling Flight

6 April 1980: The first operational refueling flight was by a 443d Military Airlift Wing, 57th Military Airlift Squadron 11-man aircrew. The crew flew nonstop from Beale Air Force Base, California, to Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the United Kingdom on the C-141B aircraft 66-0186.  The Starlifter was loaded with 38,800 pounds of cargo at Beale AFB, Calif. Over Minnesota and Wisconsin; the transport took on 47,500 lb. of fuel from a Strategic Air Command Boeing KC-135 tanker from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, N. D. 

The combined training and operational mission were accomplished in 11 hours and 12 min., carrying a load that would have required two unmodified aircraft making one fuel stop each. The C-141B's 93-ft.-long cargo compartment carried tour standard pallets, and pieces of equipment that were 77 feet long. Also, being transported were two SR-71 pilots and four special equipment specialists.

Known 57th crew members onboard were: Pilots: Maj Dean, Capt Moates, Capt Danielson, Capt Kolonoski, Capt Odle, and Capt Psota; Navigator, Lt Col Farmer; Flight Engineers, CMSgt Bibb, and MSgt Zender; Loadmasters, CMSgt Bill Scalf, and MSgt Sargent Cary Martin.   

C-141B Arrives at Travis Airforce Base, CA

11 April 1980: The first C-141B assigned to an operational wing in Military Airlift Command arrived at Travis, sporting the new gray and green "Lizard" camouflage scheme more suitable for combat operations. After delivery, the Starlifter on Apr. 18 flew its first mission across the Pacific.  

This first Travis C-141B aircraft was delivered to the 60th Military Airlift Wing by Col. William E. Overacker, commander of Military Airlift-Travis. Overacker said the longer aircraft handles better than the unmodified version, and the only transition training required for pilots is about 25 minutes of flight and one landing. He said some ground school would be required for loadmasters because of the C-141B's different center of gravity. 

C-141B Arrives at McChord Air Force Base, WA

29 May 1980: On  29 May 1980, the members of the  62d MAW welcomed back their first "stretched" C-141B (63-8082) from the Lockheed-Georgia factory. Over the next two years, 62d MAW C-141s would leave McChord on their way to Georgia to become C-141B's; on 22 March 1982, the Wing would see its last C-141A (65-00257) leave for modification.  

C-141B Arrives at Norton Air Force Base, CA

19 July 1980: COL. Watts, commander of the 63rd Military Airlift Wing, took delivery of the first C-141B Starlifter aircraft at Norton AFB.

              First Non-Stop Air Refueled CONUS-Germany­-CONUS                       C-141B Airdrop Mission 

September 1980:

 First C-141B Air-Refueling Mission to Antarctica

22 Jun 1981: A 63rd MAW aircrew accomplished the first-ever C-141B air-refueling mission on a flight that delivered fresh produce, mail, and other supplies to the South Pole and McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

First All-Female C-141 Crew Completes Conus Mission

June 1982: The 437th Military Airlift Wing set a new benchmark by fielding the first all-female air and ground crew in Military Airlift Command. The first all-female crew flew from Charleston to Eglin AFB, FL, to Scott AFB, IL, and returned to Charleston in Jun 82; the ground crew that prepared the airplane was an all-female crew. Crew members were as follows: AC: Capt Charlotte Greene, 41st MAS; CP: 2nd LT Anne E Martin, 41st MAS; FE: SSgt Laurie Bailey Porter, 41st MAS; FE: SSgt Pamela Long, 20th MAS, LM; TSgt Peggy Huey, 315th Military Airlift Wing and LM; SSgt Rita A. Beenken, 315th Military Airlift Wing.

 First All-Female C-141 Transatlantic Flight Crew

9 May 1983: A C-141 crew from the 18th Military Airlift Squadron, McGuire AFB, N.J., becomes USAF’s first all-female crew to fly a round-trip mission across the Atlantic. They flew a C-141B from McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, to Lajes Field in the Azores, completing the flight at Rhein-Main Air Force Base, Germany. 

Capt Guiliana Sangiorgio, Aircraft commander; Capt Barbara G. Akin, pilot; 1stLt Terri A. Olinger, copilot; TSgt Donna L. Wertz, flight engineer; SSgt Denise J. Meunier, flight engineer; Sgt Mary K. Eiche, loadmaster; and A1C Bernadette C. Botti, loadmaster.

Midwinter Antarctic Airdrop

June 21, 1983: A 62nd MAW crew and StarLifter, tail No. 65-0229, was the first to make container delivery system (CDS) bundle drops over the Antarctica South Pole. 

Aircrew List: Maj. John A. Kent Jr., mission commander Lt. Col. Jerry L. McKimmey, pilot Maj. William J. Larson, pilot Col. Roger R. Utley, pilot Lt. Col. Harold Blagg, navigator Lt. Col. Richard D. Paprowicz, navigator 1st Lt. Steven F. Baker, navigator CMSgt. Billy C. Chramosta, flight engineer CMSgt. Leonard J. Davis, flight engineer SMSgt. James M. Walganski, loadmaster MSgt. Michael L. Wright, loadmaster SSgt. Benhard J. Nesheim, loadmaster MSgt. Scott A. Ellestad, loadmaster TSgt. Harold A. Harris Jr., loadmaster Pete Lochow, 62nd MAW public affairs Frederick A. Johnsen, 62nd MAW historian

First Air National Guard C-141 Unit

12 July 1986: Gen. Duane H. Cassidy, commander of the Military Airlift Command, piloted the Air Guard’s first C-141B Starlifter to Allen C. Thompson Field, Mississippi, where he turned the aircraft over to Governor Bill Allain for use by the 183rd Military Airlift Squadron. The latter organization was the first ANG unit to convert to the StarLifter.

First Air Force Reserve C-141 Unit

July 1986: The 459th Military Airlift Wing at Andrews AFB, Md.,  converted to the Lockheed C-141B Starlifter aircraft and became the first Air Force Reserve unit equipped with C-141s. 

First C-141 Crew to Land in Moscow

1 July 1988: A 437th C-141B crew flew the Air Force’s first airlift cargo mission into Moscow, Russia.

 First C-141 Aircraft to Support Operation Desert Shield

7 August 1990: At the outset of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, a C-141B from the 437th Military Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, was the first American aircraft to arrive in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Five days earlier, Iraq invaded Kuwait. 

Note: The following year, out of all military aircraft employed during the conflict, the C-141 completed the most airlift missions (7,047 out of 15,800), carrying more than 41,400 passengers and 139,600 tons of cargo to the region.

C-141 Makes First USAF Flight to Mongolia

1991: A 445th MAW C-141 delivered nearly 20 tons of medical supplies to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, to overcome a critical shortage. This mission was the first USAF flight to Mongolia.

C-141 Departs Norton AFB for the Last Time

30 June 1993: The final C-141Bs transferred to the 445 AW (USAF Reserves) on 30 Jun 1993.  On 1 Jul 1993, HQ Air Mobility Command redesignated the 63rd Airlift Wing as HQ 63rd AW. That day also marked the first time since its original activation that the wing owned no aircraft. 

C-141C Delivered to the 452nd Air Mobility Wing

31 October 1997: The first of 64 modified C-141B's rolled out as a C-141C model during a ceremony on 31 October 1997. Maj. Gen. James E. Sherrard III, AFRC vice commander, accepted the aircraft from Maj. Gen. Rondal H. Smith, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center commander. The aircraft belonged to the Reserve's 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, CA. The 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., is the first active or Reserve unit to receive the C-141C "glass cockpit" modified Starlifter. 

C-141 Departs Travis AFB for the Last Time

16 December 1997: The last operational C-141 would depart Travis AFB on Dec. 16th, 1997, for McGuire AFB, NJ. The last squadron to fly the C-141 at Travis was the 20th Airlift Squadron.

C-141 Departs Charleston AFB for the Last Time

15 July 2000: The end of an era arrived with a ceremony to commemorate the farewell of the C-141 presence and to close the 16th Airlift Squadron, the sole remaining C-141 flying squadron at Joint Base Charleston. 

C-141 Formal School Closed Altus AFB 

30 July 2001: AETC’s C-141 aircrew training school at Altus AFB officially closed to end more than 25 years of C-141 training there. The closure came with the phased retirement of more than 265 C-141Bs. However, The Air Force modified 56 C-141Bs with state-of-the-art glass cockpits and redesigned them as C-141Cs. 

C-141 Departs Altus AFB for the Last Time

30 July 2001: The last C-141 was flown to Davis Monthan by 97 AMW wing Commander Brig Gen Quentin Peterson. C-141 Starlifter 66-0206 departed on 30 July 2001.

C-141 Formal School Reopens Under Air Reserve Command

January 2002: The opening day for Air Force Reserve Command's C-141 Starlifter schoolhouse at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. The school, officially called the C-141C Formal Training Unit, welcomed Reserve pilots, flight engineers, and loadmasters from Wright-Patterson, Andrews AFB, MD, and March Air Reserve Base, CA. The school is the only one of its kind in the Air Force. The C-141 schoolhouse at Altus AFB, Okla., during the summer of 2001. At this point in time, the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J., was the only active duty unit that still used the C-141. Reserve components were flying about 100 C-141s, and Air National Guard units in Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., were still hauling troops and cargo on C141s. 

C-141 Departs McChord AFB for the Last Time

9 April 2002: Thirty-six years of C-141 history at McChord ended when its last StarLifter, tail # 65-0267, lifted off on the final flight into retirement in the sun of Arizona. A McChord crew headed by Col. Paul J. Selva, 62d Airlift Wing Commander, Col. Thomas M. Gisler Jr., 446th Airlift Wing Commander, and Col. Michael Strouse, 62d Operations Group Commander, flew the aircraft to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

C–141 Starlifter Makes Last Airdrop of Paratroopers

13 May 2004: The final C-141 airdrop of paratroopers took place at Fort Benning, Ga. Army Private Jason Stewart, a native of Chandler, Ariz., became the last paratrooper to jump from a C-141 when he jumped from C-141C (No. 65-0229) of the 452 AMW (AFRC) at March ARB, Calif.

C-141 Last Around-The-World Flight by An Active Duty Crew

19 August 2004: Twelve crew members departed McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, aboard a C–141B Starlifter on the last around-the-world flight by an active duty C–141. The specially selected crew included eight members of the 6th Airlift Squadron and four flying crew chiefs from the 305th Maintenance Squadron. All were seasoned veterans of the C–141. They had more than 59,000 hours of flying time in C–141s.

C-141 Departs McGuire AFB for the Last Time

16 September 2004: The last active-duty C–141B Starlifter (64-0633 ) assigned to the U.S. Air Force flew its final mission after a departure ceremony at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, home of the 305th Air Mobility Wing.  Aircraft 64-0633 was the 46th aircraft off the Lockheed assembly line and had recorded 40,792 flying hours. The aircraft commander for this final flight was  Lt. Gen. William Welser III, 18th Air Force commander; co-pilot Lt. Col. Eric Wydra, 6th Airlift Squadron commander, and flight engineer Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Kenny.

 The 6th Airlift Squadron, the last active duty C-141 squadron, flew from McGuire to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. The C–141 Starlifter was the first U.S.-manufactured jet aircraft designed specifically for military airlift. It was the second all-jet transport aircraft assigned to the Military Airlift Command, the C–135 being the first.

C-141 Schoolhouse Closes at Wright-Patterson

15 October 2004: Air Force Reserve Command officials shut down the C-141 Starlifter schoolhouse. A ceremony marked the school's closing, officially called the C-141 Formal Training Unit. The 445th Airlift Wing managed it. The use of the facility, the only one of its kind in the Air Force, ended because all C-141s would retire by 2006.

 The school opened in January 2002 for C-141 pilots, loadmasters, and flight engineers. The Air Force moved the school here from Altus Air Force Base, Okla., in 2001.

 C-141's Last Flight to Antarctica

4 February 2005: A C–141C assigned to the 452d Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base, California, flew the last scheduled C–141 Starlifter mission to the Pegasus runway near the McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica. For 39 years, as part of Operation Deep Freeze, C–141s had delivered personnel and equipment to Antarctica to support the National Science Foundation's research activities there. 

C-141's Last Combat Mission

30 September 2005: The final mission was flown by a C–141 Starlifter to a combat zone ended when a Starlifter assigned to the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, landed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The C–141C flown by Lt Col Timothy W. Baldwin was returning from Balad Air Base, Iraq, with 24 litter patients, 23 ambulatory patients, and three attendees. It had taken cargo to Europe before making its historic last flight to the U.S. Central Command’s theater of operation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. C-141s had begun airlifting sick and wounded from combat zones more than 40 years earlier in Southeast Asia.

 C–141 Starlifter Last Operational Flight

6 May 2006: The last squadron to fly the C-141 was the 356th Airlift Squadron, a unit of the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. Fittingly, the last flying C-141 was tail number 66-0177, also the first American aircraft to land at Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi, North Vietnam, on February 12, 1973, to pick up prisoners of war. Because of that singular honor, it was dubbed the “Hanoi Taxi.”

The last operational C–141 Starlifter (66-0177), designated the Hanoi Taxi, landed for the last time and was received in a formal retirement ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. The landing concluded 42 years of Starlifter operations in the active-duty Air Force, the Air National Guard, and the Air Force Reserve Command. On May 5, the “Hanoi Taxi” made two final passenger flights in the Dayton, Ohio, area with 125 former POWs aboard. Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne was a passenger on the first flight. His brother, an F–4 pilot, had been killed in North Vietnam in 1966.